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Jordan Does Not Appear To Have Votes For Speakership; Rep. Jim Jordan Loses First Speaker Vote; Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) Discusses House Speakership Vote. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired October 17, 2023 - 13:30   ET



LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And made it clear that he wanted to basically leverage an expected 1 percent cut that will go into effect in April to try and get some negotiations with the White House to cut spending.

And lot of Republicans argued that they were happy to see that Jordan had a plan at all. They felt like he had some concrete steps he was willing to take.

The reality is, with the votes that we're seeing, including a surprise from Kay Granger, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, it's clear that that did not really assuage some of the concerns from Republicans.

And part of the reason it may not have worked is because that 1 percent cut that was voted into law in the debt ceiling bill, is coming up in January, would take effect in April, and it scares defense hawks.

Because that is a 1 percent cut that would have a massive effect on military preparations. And if you remember, many years ago, Congress had the same fight over what they then called an across-the-board cut. It was known as sequestration. And it was a huge problem for the Defense Department.

So that is clearly becoming a problematic step here. And that is maybe why you're seeing people like Kay Granger, the key appropriator, voting against Jim Jordan on the floor -- Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: So interesting, Lauren.

Let's keep listening in.



REP. RUPPERSBERGER (D-MD): Hakeem Jeffries.


Rutherford? REP. JOHN RUTHERFORD (R-FL): Scalise.



REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Jeffries.




















BASH: As we watch --


BASH: As we watch the House floor and as we watch these not-Jordan votes numbers climb to 14 now, I'm getting some texts -- and I don't know what you all are hearing.

I got a text from a former Republican who said -- former House Republican, who has been in situations like this, who said, you know, if it was just a handful, maybe Jordan could do it. But it looks so much harder now as the numbers go up.

Ashley, I know that that could be the case. But again, people could be looking at this saying I'm just going to vote the way I want to right now.

But a lot of these members that we're talking about are Republicans who -- people in your party and the Democratic party -- think that they can beat and take the majority back in 2024.

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, if this number was a handful, I would feel better as Jim Jordan. This is much larger than anyone suspected.

And the -- it is a presidential year, and we were talking earlier about, in midterms, a vote like this, some folks could think it would really matter.

Here's the one thing. In the 18 districts that Biden won but are held by Republican Congress people, some of those are in states where you don't run very large presidential campaigns, like a New York, like a California.

BASH: Or Nebraska.

ALLISON: Or Nebraska. And so when you are thinking, my constituents aren't going to be focusing so much on the presidential because my state is a really red state.

But my district is purple and I need to make sure that I don't get a campaign ad run against me in a moderate district where I voted for someone like Jim Jordan, who is the founder of the Freedom Caucus, is an election denier, and is always on FOX News pushing MAGA talking points.

BASH: And I just want to add that Mike Simpson just voted for Scalise, which is a bit of a surprise, Scott.


And so I think -- interestingly, by the way, when we did this with McCarthy, they had to go on. They had to keep doing it because the Constitution requires it.

In this case, there is no requirement they stay here and do this over and over again.

So I'm actually really sort of fascinated now. If you're Jordan, is the strategic move for you here to go for another one and see if anybody peels off or is it to go to a meeting --

BASH: On your point --

JENNINGS: -- about the presidential election?

Look, Donald Trump is on the ballot. BASH: Yes.

JENNINGS: And so, to me, if you're going to try to peel off voters in one of these districts with an ad, it's not about Jim Jordan. It's really going to be about Donald Trump.


If this were a midterm, I would think this might be a more consequential vote, which is why I've been a little skeptical that the pressure campaign, which they have been thinking they were going to run, is going to be as effective.

I just think the presidential vibes next year are really important. And it just is a blanket over everything, including, you know, how you voted on a leadership --


ALLISON: It's an "and." It's not -- I would run an ad with Donald Trump and Jim Jordan and say this is the MAGA party and --


BASH: Doug, I just want to tell our viewers that Victoria Spartz, from Indiana, who was Ukrainian born, she, like Ken Buck, did not vote. She was not there. It's not that she's not here. She did not vote.


DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One of the things that's really interesting, what we're seeing is that a lot of these no votes, whether they're voting for Scalise or McCarthy, is really the rise of the House appropriators.

Why have we had government shutdowns and a lot of chaos over the past few years? It's been the failure to have a working appropriations process, which isn't terribly sexy.

But it is what Jordan said he's going to try to do and, obviously, that's been on hold for a while.

But if I can say one thing, a lot of this conversation has been Jim Jordan and Donald Trump, and Donald Trump calls Jim Jordan. This all predates Donald Trump by years.

This is a two-party election. This is the pick of Sara Palin, Eric Cantor, my old boss, primary loss, the 2013 government shutdown, staffing decisions that Steve Scalise made against Jim Jordan. There's a whole lot going on here and we're talking about a coal mine that is filled with canaries.

Donald Trump just came and was the great disrupter on what already existed.

JENNINGS: In the last couple weeks, interestingly -- technically, I'm fascinated by this. When McCarthy realized he didn't have the support, he gave in. When Scalise realized he didn't have the support, he gave in.

Jim Jordan does not have the support right now, but they have signaled they will not relent. We're down to the third most popular guy in this line.

And as a tactical matter, they have at least signaled publicly they will not give in, no matter what.

It's just an interesting mindset departure, you know. McCarthy relents, Scalise relents. If Jordan doesn't relent, it does give you sort of a window into how sort of these --


BASH: McCarthy relented after he had been speaker for nine months.

JENNINGS: But he didn't say, let's --

BASH: He certainly did this time, 14.

JENNINGS: But he's not out here campaigning for the -- he didn't keep campaigning for the job when he realized he didn't have the votes.

Jordan here lost in conference to Scalise, and now he's on the floor losing this vote. It just is interesting to see whether he sticks with it or not when the other two guys didn't.

ALLISON: I mean, maybe not, once they voted McCarthy out. But let's rewind to January where he did continue to pursue and pursue.

To your point about strategy right now, I don't think you go for another ballot immediately with 15 and the votes are still being counted.

BASH: Yes.

ALLISON: Because, to Doug's first point about the alphabet, we got to three really early on in the alphabet when they were calling the roll. And so if you get to three in an immediate next ballot on "C"s or "D"s --

JENNINGS: Momentum perception problem.

ALLISON: The perception is you can't get it done. And then you go caucus and then you -- and then you run the risk of then having to make concessions that --


HEYE: Please leave my report card out of it.


HEYE: But the initial plan from Jordan was to go to conference and after the first ballot. But I think this becomes part of where the Republicans find themselves.

Every time Manu talked about Jordan today, he used the word "fight." And so often over the past 10 years, fight came before strategy.

We need to see now, what is Jim Jordan's strategy? We know he's going to fight. Does he have a strategy to land a punch, and to win a round and win the speakership?

BASH: And we know that Jim Jordan knows how to fight. That's how he made a name for himself.

The question is, who is he fighting, Jake? And how is he going to win the fights when you have people who are very, very reluctant in your own party, as he is, to make you speaker?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes. Well, right now, there are 15 House Republicans who are a no on Jim Jordan and I suspect we might have one more no when all is said and done.

Let me go back to our two former House Republicans, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger.

Congressman Davis, your take on this, as this vote comes to its ignominious end?

RODNEY DAVIS, (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN FOR ILLINOIS: Well, it's on to round two. And then is there going to be a round three, a round four?

I think there's absolutely no way that you have enough Republicans in that conference that like, a few months ago on behalf of Kevin McCarthy, will stand strong and say only Jordan, like they did when they were only McCarthy.


As I said earlier, I think Jim Jordan has one more round to prove that he can get the votes. If I were him, I would call everybody back down to H.C.5, get them in a room and try and hash it out.

Going right into a second round, I don't think behooves him. And frankly, I think gives him less of a chance to achieve his goal of getting the gavel.

TAPPER: Congressman Kinzinger, hold on one second.

Because I just want to listen in. We got one more no vote from Congressman Steve Womack of Arkansas.

Let's listen to the chaos and confusion as Republicans try to figure out what to do next and Democrats try to suppress their giggles.


TAPPER: We, too, anticipate that some of the people who did not vote will be asked if they want to come up and vote. There are a few notable individuals who did not vote when they were called upon to do so, including Congressman Ken Buck, perhaps most notably.

Let's listen in on that.

And then, of course, a big decision for Congressman Jim Jordan. Does he want to go to a second vote and see if he can convince some of the 16 holdouts to change their votes? He's going to have to change 13 of the 16.

So let's listen in.


REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R-NC): The House will come to order.

The reading clerk will now call the names of the members who did not answer the first call of the roll.




REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): Tom Emmer.



REP. CARDENAS (D-CA): Jeffries.

















TAPPER: OK. So the opposition to Jim Jordan picked up four votes there. He had 16 originally.

And then in the -- looking for, in the absent votes, Congressman Ken Buck voted for Tom Emmer. Congressman John James of Michigan voted for Tom Cole. And Victoria Spartz and Congressman LaMalfa all voted for candidates other than Jim Jordan. That's 20 no votes on Jordan.

Adam Kinzinger, David Chalian was making this observation earlier, which is what we seem to be hearing very much in a loud voice is, from these 20 Congressmen, is please do not make Jim Jordan the symbol of the House Republicans.

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. That's correct. Look, I'm impressed that there's 20.

I was worried this morning because a lot of the hard opposition to Jordan had been capitulating in the last 24 hours. I think of like Mike Rogers from Alabama and Wagner from Missouri, they were "hell nos" until they were all in.


This is embarrassing for Jim Jordan. I think this is going to be hard for him to fix. I mean, the only thing I can imagine is if he starts cutting deals. And those deals include things that he's never supported in the past.

For instance, if he says I'm committed to bringing Ukraine funding on the floor, he may be able to peel off one or two of those. If he says I'm committed to whatever it is, I don't know, maybe he can get to his number. But I think this is hard.

I think the free vote here -- I mean, you know, the easiest thing to do if you're a Republican is to vote for Jim Jordan the first time and go away the second time.

I think you could see even more peel away on the second round or he consolidates. Who really knows. I think it's going to be very hard for him to become speaker now.

But that doesn't mean they're not going to use blistering pressure on FOX News, News Max, all of those, OAN, to activate the base to scare the crap out of those people.

There are a lot of brave people in those 20 that I'm very proud of today.

TAPPER: Twenty no votes against Jim Jordan, at least in this first ballot.

Dana Bash, the question is, where do we go from here?

BASH: The question is, where do we go from here, Jake, because this is, despite the understanding that he was going to lose a fair amount in the first ballot.

I just got a message from a Jordan ally saying, quote, "This is much worse than we expected."

So despite the bravado, despite what Jim Jordan himself said to Manu umpteen times in the hallways over the past 24, 48 hours, about the fact that he can get there, he not only didn't get there in the first round, but they expected to do better than losing 20 fellow Republicans, as they have done.

TAPPER: Yes. No, indeed, this is a lot worse than I expected he would do. We knew going into here, into the vote, that he had six no votes. We did not know there were 20.

And he certainly lost people that weren't even on our list of people to watch, people like Congresswoman Granger and Congressman Gonzalez.

BASH: Yes.

TAPPER: Manu Raju, you have some reporting from the Hill? What's going on?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The expectation is that Jim Jordan will try to get another -- go to another roll call vote here. We'll see exactly when exactly he does this.

But this is worse than they anticipated. Remember, Kevin McCarthy, on that first ballot back in January, lost 19 Republicans.

The expectation going into this vote from people familiar with the Jordan camp thinking was that they would do better than Kevin McCarthy on that first ballot.

They lost 20 votes right here. And in talking to members who are walking off the floor, the belief is that this was worse than they expected.

They thought they would be able to get closer and thought that, perhaps, some of these members that they were surprised about where they ultimately came down.

There's some concern among some of the New York Republicans about how Jordan would deal with a parochial issue involving state and local taxes. That is an issue that is very important for the deductions of those state and local taxes.

An important issue from the New York Republicans in swing districts. They all voted for former Congressman Lee Zeldin to be the speaker of the House. Can they win some of those members back? The belief from the Jordan folks perhaps they can win back some of the people that voted for Kevin McCarthy, but some of the other ones could be much harder to win back here.

But they even, despite this worse outcome than they anticipated, they do expect this to go to a second ballot. But how much more ground can he make up? That is still a huge question, as we head into another period of uncertainty and the Republican turmoil only continuing here -- Jake?

TAPPER: Well, I think it's a fair question. I mean, it's possible that he will win over some votes from these 20.

It's also possible that there were people that, you know, not to be impolite about it, that were holding their nose and voting for him.

That might now be emboldened to say, you know what, you had me for the first ballot and I don't want to go with him on the second ballot, and we can do better and vote for a Tom Emmer or a Kevin McCarthy or a Tom Cole, or any number of individuals.

And, John King, I don't think that -- I mean, I certainly am not representative of the House Republican caucus but the House members of the conference that I've spoken with, who have votes, some of them who have voted for Congress Jordan today, are not particularly excited about him.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, they're not. And so this is roughly the McCarthy math, right? So you have to change, what, 18 votes here?

McCarthy was ultimately able to do it. He took a pummeling to get there. And he gave away just about everything in the store to get there.

But he was a much less -- for all the fault peoples give you about Kevin McCarthy and his family, much less polarizing than Jim Jordan. A lot of these Jim Jordan votes they say they're hell no. We'll see if they hold.

I just want to make a point. The speaker of the House runs the institution. Yes, the speaker of the House has a majority leader and a whip, whose job on a daily basis is to count the votes.


But when you hear Jordan people saying this is worse than we thought, which tells you they failed, test number one being a leader, which is being able to do the math of your team.

If you want to pass Ukraine funding or you want deny Ukraine funding, if you want to give aid to Israel, is you want to get House Republicans to have a -- you know, get a majority of Republican votes for some plans, for anything, they have to keep the government open in the short term. You have to be able to count votes. You have to be the leaders of the

institutions. You have to look some people in the eye and say, I know you want to vote no, you have to take one for the team today.

Jim Jordan failed. On this first ballot, he failed that test. Now so did Kevin McCarthy. We will see if he can recover.

But again, Jordan is much more polarizing among the nos than McCarthy was.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, it really says that there are fewer people who are afraid of Jim Jordan than the Jim Jordan camp thought.

I think that one of the big differences between the way Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy operate is that Jordan is not afraid to make people angry. Kevin McCarthy does not like to make people angry.

Although, he is certainly willing to pick up the phone and let you know he is angry in certain circumstances. He prefers to give you something you want so that you'll back him when he needs backing.

Jim Jordan is not that way. He has more reputation as a bully. And this shows the people are basically daring him to do that. And I think that that means that, if he's going to continue with this, it's going to get ugly fast.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: I think we also have to take into account what a surprise this vote was. One Republican source said to me, he's no Nancy Pelosi. This was not the whip count that they expected.

One source said this is going in the wrong direction. And he thinks he's going to lose more. We don't know that yet. But this is not what Jim Jordan and his allies expected.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And his mission is totally different than Kevin McCarthy's mission in terms of the content of the dealmaking that happened, what Kevin McCarthy did back in January.

John, you said Kevin McCarthy gave away the store. Literally, gave away so much in the dealmaking that he's not speaker of the House anymore.

KING: Right.

CHALIAN: I mean, that's exactly what he gave away. He gave away the job that he was fighting for in that very first day that he became speaker.

Here, so McCarthy was all about having to woo the Gaetzes of the world and the right flank, sort of a familiar pattern between the establishment and the insurgent wing of the Republican Party that had been playing out for years and years that we've seen. This is a totally different thing. This actually looked a little bit

more when legislation is being debated, right, and you need to win over some of the folks whose political interests may not be aligned with the majority and how do you do that.

To Kasie's point, that is not Jim Jordan's wheelhouse. That is not -- Jim Jordan has never sort of operated in that kind of a space.

So, for a lot of these folks, yes, the fear of a primary can matter. It can dampen their base, even in competitive districts. But --


TAPPER: Let's listen.

I'm sorry. They're gaveling.

MCHENRY: The House will come to order.

The talliers agree on the tallies that the total number of votes cast is 432, of which the Honorable Jim Jordan of the state of Ohio has received 200 votes.

The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries from the state of New York has received 212 votes.


MCHENRY: The Honorable Kevin McCarthy of the state of California has received six votes. Lee Zeldin of the state of New York has received three. Steve Scalise from the state of Louisiana has received seven.

The Honorable Mike Garcia of the state of California has received one. The Honorable Tom Emmer of the state of Minnesota has received one. The Honorable Tom Cole of the state of Oklahoma has received one. The Honorable Thomas Massey of the state of Kentucky has received one.



MCHENRY: No person having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast by surname, a speaker has not been elected. Pursuant to Clause 12 of Rule 1, the chair declares the House in recess, subject to the call of the chair.


TAPPER: All right. Well, I guess they're not going to call a second vote.


TAPPER: Good times.

(LAUGHTER) TAPPER: Joining me now, Republican Congressman from Florida, Carlos Gimenez.

Congressman Gimenez, thanks so much for joining us.

You voted for Speaker McCarthy, former Speaker McCarthy. You were one of the six to do so. Twenty -- well, I guess 19 other Republicans joined you in not voting for Jim Jordan.


That was a bigger number than I thought there would be. Twenty House Republicans voting for someone other than Jim Jordan. Were you surprised?

REP. CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-FL): Yes, I was surprised. I thought it was going to be like seven and 15. So, when it got to 20, yes, I was a little surprised it was that high.

But I always knew -- I was pretty sure -- I mean, I'm -- just in the circle of people that I've talked to, you know, more than five were going to vote for somebody else. And so, yes, the fact that it's 20, it's a little surprising, yes.

TAPPER: So some of it, obviously, was resentment towards the individuals that have forced this mess upon your conference to begin with.

The individuals, not only the eight who voted against Speaker McCarthy to begin with, but also, the others who have voted against rules. The others who have voted against the government funding bill and the like.

But I also sense that there are people in the Republican conference that just don't want Jim Jordan to be the symbol of House Republicans. Is that your sense as well.

GIMENEZ: Look, I want Kevin McCarthy to be the symbol of us. He was our leader. Look, we may have had eight Republicans that lit the fire, but also there was 208 Democrats who provided the gunpowder. So there's nobody without blame here.

What we need to do to rectify this, is just go back in time and rectify the injustice that was done two weeks ago. So my vote is with Kevin McCarthy and has been.

I've been very direct. I'm there, I'm still there, I'm not changing my vote.

And I said Friday Jim Jordan has a really steep hill to climb. I don't think that hill has gotten any less difficult.

There was 20. I know there's folks in for one round, after that, they're kind of like a free agent. We need to find somebody. But I think the right person is Kevin McCarthy. But this conference -- first of all, we need to give Patrick McHenry

more power so he can open up the people's House. There's no reason why the people's House has to stop because of one individual.

And I'm not just talking about this. I'm talking about the future. We have an incapacitated speaker. All of a sudden, that's it? We're not going to do anything for a month, two months?

That doesn't make any sense and no organization works that way. We need to rectify that.

But eventually, we will find a speaker, somebody we can rally around. My hope is that it's Kevin McCarthy. Hopefully, we can draft him, get him back.

But if that's not the case, we need to unify and unify on somebody that we all respect and can move forward and move this country forward.

TAPPER: So do you think there will be a movement in the House Republican conference to give temporary speaker, Patrick McHenry, temporary powers so there can be movement?

Because, as you point out, this is the first time in the history of this great republic that we have not had a speaker.

And the legislative branch is just at a standstill right now when there are two major wars going on right now and a government that's about to run out of money.

GIMENEZ: Well, I'm going to correct the history. I believe there have been some times where we've had some period of time without a speaker. I think there was one place one time we had like 100 ballots, and maybe a couple months maybe without.

But that was way in the past. That's something that we need to rectify and we need to rectify it now.

Yes, I would hope that my fellow Republicans and actually the entire Congress sees that there's a need to put somebody, to give them standing powers to conduct the people's business. I would hope that we do that.

I know there's resolutions already drafted to do that. So I would hope that we do that.

And then we, as a conference, need to get together and find that individual. My hope, again, is Kevin McCarthy. But find that individual we can rally around and move forward.

TAPPER: Last question, sir. You said you'd like to get back in time and get rid of that vote to get rid of Kevin McCarthy as speaker. Obviously, we're out of flux capacitors and we cannot --


TAPPER: -- we cannot go back in time.

So who do you think might be a candidate that your caucus can finally get 216, 217 votes. There were votes for Tom Emmer. There was a vote for Tom Massey -- I mean, I can't go through every one of them. There were about, I think, six candidates. Lee Zeldin, your former colleague, was there.

Is there somebody that your caucus can rally around?

GIMENEZ: Yes, there's somebody there. Look, we have 220 members. Some very, very talented individuals. They're very smart, very capable individuals.

And my hope is that maybe the five different caucuses can get together and come up with a name that they can all agree to and that we can all rally around.

I don't want to put a name out there because then, oh, that's Gimenez's guy. No, I don't want to do that. It needs to be our person, not one person.

I'm saying guy, could be a gal. You know, maybe make history and have the first female Republican speaker of the House.

There are a lot of talented people here that I can support. Right now, my support lies with Kevin McCarthy. Let's see where it goes in the future.

TAPPER: All right, Congressman, thanks so much.

Let me throw it to Dana Bash.

BASH: Thanks, Jake. I appreciate it.


Joining me now is Republican Ken Buck of Colorado. He did not vote for Congressman Jim Jordan. Instead, voting for Tom Emmer.

Well, I guess my first question is, do you really want Tom Emmer to be speaker?

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): No, I don't. I don't want Tom Emmer. I figure this will be the worst job in America.